10 TRENDS FOR 2014
MOBILE AS A GATEWAY
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10 TRENDS FOR 2014 AND BEYOND
In our ninth annual forecast of trends for the near future, we see consumers both welcoming and resisting technology’s
growing omnipresence in their lives. For many, technology serves as a gateway to opportunity and an enabler of hyperefficient lifestyles, but those who are most immersed are starting to question its effect on their lives and on their
privacy. One result is that people are trying to find a balance and seeking to be more mindful and in-the-moment. And
in a world that’s become all too polished or mass-produced, they are also embracing imperfection.
JWT’s 10 Trends for 2014 report is the result of quantitative, qualitative and desk research conducted by
JWTIntelligence throughout the year and specifically for this report.
Trends don’t happen in isolation. They tend to intersect and work in tandem with each other, as you’ll see here.
And many are extensions or outgrowths of trends we formerly spotted; after all, trends with real significance can’t
be assigned to just one calendar year. The trends explored here, which we believe have significant weight and
momentum, indicate shifts that are likely to be with us for a while.
Like any complex and dynamic human phenomena, trends are not preordained—once they are spotted, they can be
shaped. With this trends forecast, we aim to bring the outside in—to help inspire ideas beyond brand, category and
consumer conventions—and to identify emerging opportunities so they can be leveraged for business gain.
1. IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES
Entertainment, narratives and brand experiences
will become more immersive and altogether more
enveloping in a bid to capture consumers’ imagination
EXAMPLE: To bring the tagline “Fill Your Home
with Music” to life, Sonos (the maker of Internetconnected wireless music systems) created
immersive installations in New York and Los
Angeles. Digitized color washes, lighting and
animation coordinated the color and mood
of a room to the music playing through Sonos
Image credit: DJ Ecal
2. DO YOU SPEAK VISUAL?
We’re shifting to a visual vocabulary that relies on
photos, emojis, video snippets and other imagery, largely
supplanting the need for text. “Visual” is a new lingo
that needs to be mastered.
EXAMPLE: Tinder and similar apps simplify the
online dating process by eschewing wordy profiles
in favor of photos that can be scrolled through
quickly. Users of Tinder are tallying up 350
million swipes per day—swiping right indicates
interest, swiping left indicates a decline.
Image credits: JWTIntelligence team
3. THE AGE OF IMPATIENCE
With the mainstreaming of the on-demand economy and
our always-on culture, consumer expectations for speed
and ease are rising exponentially. As businesses respond
in kind, making the availability of their products and
services more instant, impatience and impulsiveness will
only continue to increase.
EXAMPLE: eBay, Google, Amazon and grocery
services including Walmart To Go have introduced
same-day delivery options in some markets and
are steadily expanding their availability—and
some are shrinking the delivery window down
to as little as an hour. The eBay Now service
provides delivery from local merchants in about
an hour for a $5 fee.
Image credit: Tom Uhlenberg
4. MOBILE AS A GATEWAY TO OPPORTUNITY
In emerging markets, the mobile device is coming to
represent a gateway to opportunity—helping people change
their lives by giving them access to financial systems, new
business tools, better health care, education and more.
EXAMPLE: Developed by Vodafone in
collaboration with Turkey’s Ministry of Food and
Agriculture, Farmers’ Club sends SMS messages
about government regulations, weather and
market prices, tailored to farmers’ locations.
A partnership with Şekerbank lets users pay by
mobile phone at the end of the year.
Image credit: GSMA
5. TELEPATHIC TECHNOLOGY
Thanks to the rise of brain-computer interfaces
and emotion recognition technology, brands are
getting more adept at understanding consumers’
minds and moods, and reacting accordingly in a very
EXAMPLE: To showcase the power of a Kit
Kat break, JWT Singapore and Nestlé wired
up students with headsets that tracked their
brainwaves while they ate a Kit Kat bar, then
generated a unique piece of art that reflected
their state of mind. Students who entered the
“brain booth” got to see what happened to their
brain after they consumed a Kit Kat.
Image credit: Quavondo Nguyen
6. THE END OF ANONYMITY
Thanks to an array of new technologies and a growing drive
to collect personal data, it’s becoming nearly impossible
to remain unobserved and untracked by corporations and
governments. As anonymity becomes more elusive, expect
pushback from consumers and a growing paranoia around
technologies and services that affect privacy.
EXAMPLE: Tesco’s 450 gas stations in the U.K. will
start using screens made by Amscreen, a digital
advertising firm, that analyze the faces of people
approaching the register and target ads based on
gender and rough age; they also track how long
people look at the ads.
Image credit: Carolyn Lagattuta
7. RAGING AGAINST THE MACHINE
As we move further into the digital age, we’re starting to
both fear and resent technology, fretting about what’s been
lost in our embrace of unprecedented change. We’ll put a
higher value on all things that feel essentially human and
seriously question (while not entirely resisting) technology’s
EXAMPLE: A growing number of bands and music
festivals are asking crowd members to put their
phones away and experience the concert “in 3D,”
as She & Him have requested. Others who have
objected to the usual sea of phones held aloft
include Jack White, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Prince
Image credits: Michela Ravasio; Nick Ayala
8. REMIXING TRADITION
With social norms quickly changing and a new anythinggoes attitude, people are mashing up cherished
traditions with decidedly new ideas, creating their own
recipes for what feels right.
EXAMPLE: While religious affiliation is declining
in the U.S. and the U.K., “godless congregations”
such as the Sunday Assembly are adopting
elements of organized religion, seeking to reap
the benefits that come with ritual gatherings and
the community they offer.
Image credit: isitsharp
9. PROUDLY IMPERFECT
Imperfection and even outright ugliness—the quirky,
the messy and the flawed—are taking on new appeal
in a world that’s become neatly polished and curated.
Imperfection provides an unfiltered, all too human
version of reality that reflects all the diversity that’s
seen in everyday life.
EXAMPLE: In October 2013, the Austrian grocery
chain Billa, part of Germany’s Rewe Group,
launched a private-label line of “nonconformist”
produce dubbed Wunderlinge, a made-up word
that combines the terms for “anomaly” and
“miracle.” Another German retailer, Edeka,
has tested selling ugly produce at a discount,
branded as “Nobody is perfect.”
Image credit: Peter Mullaney
10. MINDFUL LIVING
Consumers are developing a quasi-Zen desire to
experience everything in a more present, conscious
way. Once the domain of the spiritual set, mindful
living is filtering into the mainstream, with more
people drawn to the idea of shutting out distractions
and focusing on the moment.
EXAMPLE: Virgin Atlantic commissioned content
from the meditation gurus at Headspace for the
in-flight entertainment system. Designed to help
passengers meditate and deal with the stressors
of traveling, the videos address topics such as
how to get sleep and deal with boredom.
Image credit: Lumina
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JWT’S 10 TRENDS FOR 2014
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